A mesmerizing, behind-the-scenes business thriller that chronicles how Sega, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary and a team of rebels, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the video-game industry.
In 1990, Nintendo had a virtual monopoly on the video-game industry. Sega, on the other hand, was just a faltering arcade company with big aspirations and even bigger personalities. But all that would change with the arrival of Tom Kalinske, a former Mattel executive who knew nothing about video games and everything about fighting uphill battles. His unconventional tactics, combined with the blood, sweat, and bold ideas of his renegade employees, completely transformed Sega and led to a ruthless, David-and-Goliath showdown with Nintendo. Little did he realize that Sega's success would create many new enemies and, most important, make Nintendo stronger than ever.
The battle was vicious, relentless, and highly profitable, eventually sparking a global corporate war that would be fought on several fronts: from living rooms and school yards to boardrooms and Congress. It was a once-in-a-lifetime, no-holds-barred conflict that pitted brother against brother, kid against adult, Sonic against Mario, and the United States against Japan.
Based on more than 200 interviews with former Sega and Nintendo employees, Console Wars is the tale of how Tom Kalinske miraculously turned an industry punch line into a market leader. Blake J. Harris brings into focus the warriors, the strategies, and the battles and explores how they transformed popular culture forever. Ultimately, Console Wars is the story of how a humble family man, with an extraordinary imagination and a gift for turning problems into competitive advantages, inspired a team of underdogs to slay a giant and, as a result, give birth to a $60 billion industry.
©2014 Blake J. Harris (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers
Loved it.....from the dirty politics ri the triumphant rise from rags to riches. brace yourself.....you may end up not being very fond of some of these companies when finished.
It was more than a walk down memory lane. It was a fantastic walk down branches of a future that never came to be but for those on the path of this story was as real as the segaless world I live in. The sense of hope, fun and optimism that permeates this book and the illuminating perspective on the personalities behind what was my era of games the 16bit generation is a must read. The narrative lends itself well to audio and perhaps the characterization comes through even stronger. I laughed and smiled throughout. In short its sonicworthy.
Captures the cultural (and financial) phenomenon of the early go go days of the video game industry by using an amazing cast of real life characters led by a very likable Tom Kalinske. Fred Berman's narration of this book is possibly the best of anything available on audible.
As a 11-year old in 1991, this was required reading. I remember the older and cooler high school kids playing Sega. Turns out this was exactly someone's plan. After finishing this book I found a bunch of the people and the author on Twitter.
Fred Berman was outstanding. He made this story important by the way he narrated it.
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